Chapter 4: I Goofed Again!
The moment you start seeing your faults they start dropping like dry leaves. Then nothing else has to be done; to see them is enough. Just to be aware of your faults is all that is needed. In that awareness they start disappearing, they evaporate. One can go on committing a certain error only if one remains unconscious of it. Unconsciousness is a must to go on committing the same errors. Even if you try to change you will commit the same error in some other form, in some other shape. And they come in all sizes and all shapes. You will exchange, you will substitute, but you cannot drop it because deep down you don’t see that it is a fault. Others may be telling you because they can see.
That’s why everybody thinks himself so beautiful, so intelligent, so virtuous, so saintly - and nobody agrees with him! The reason is simple: you look at others, you see their reality, and about yourself you carry fictions - beautiful fictions. About yourself you are very fictitious. All that you know about yourself is more or less a myth; it has nothing to do with reality.
The moment one sees one’s faults, a radical change sets in. Hence all the buddhas down the ages have been telling only one thing: awareness. They don’t teach you character. Character is taught by priests, politicians, but not by the buddhas. Buddhas teach you consciousness - not conscience. Conscience is a trick played upon you by others. Others are telling you what is right and what is wrong; they are forcing their ideas upon you. And they go on forcing them from your very childhood, when you were so innocent, so vulnerable, so delicate, that there was a possibility to make any impression on you, any imprint on you. They have conditioned you from the very beginning. That conditioning is called conscience and that conscience goes on dominating your whole life. Conscience is a strategy of society to enslave you.
Buddhas teach consciousness. Consciousness means you are not to learn from others what is right and what is wrong; there is no need to learn from anybody. You have simply to go in; just the inward journey is enough. The deeper you go, the more consciousness is released. When you reach the center you are so full of light that darkness disappears. When you bring light into your room you don’t have to push the darkness out of the room. The presence of the light is enough because darkness is only an absence of light. So are all your insanities, madnesses.
But everybody can see others’ faults, so don’t be worried about it, Prageeta. This is the situation in which everybody is living.
A man dressed as Adolf Hitler visited a psychiatrist.
“You can see I have no problems,” he said. “I have the greatest army in the world, all the money I will ever need and every conceivable luxury you can imagine.”
“Then what seems to be your problem?” asked the doctor.
“It’s my wife,” said the man. “She thinks she’s Mrs. Weaver.”
Don’t laugh at the poor man. It is nobody else but you.
A man went into a tailor’s shop and saw a man hanging by one arm from the center of the ceiling.
“What is he doing there?” he asked the tailor.
“Oh, pay no attention,” said the tailor, “he thinks he’s a light bulb.”